This page gives a quick tour of Family Historian using pictures and text only. To view a video tour of Family Historian, see A Quick Tour of Family Historian 5.

See What’s New in Version 5 for the latest new features and enhancements.

Getting Started with the Focus Window

The Focus Window (the main application window) showing spouses and children for Ian Munro, with ‘docked’ property box on the right side


Focus Window showing parents and siblings for Ian Munro


Focus Window showing ancestors of Ian Munro


Focus Window showing descendants of Charles Munro


Pictures and Multimedia

Multimedia Window showing thumbnails


Multimedia Window showing one picture at a time. You can link each person to their face in each picture they’re in.


Property Box showing multimedia thumbnails for Ian Munro (in close-up). You can view the Property Box for any person at any time.


Interactive Diagrams & Smart Trees

Family Historian diagrams are interactive. They are used in numerous ways – for browsing and exploring, for data entry (by click-and-drag), for editing, and for creating charts to print out or send to others.

Diagrams include Family Historian’s All Relatives diagram and the Everyone diagram.


Diagram branches have (optional) buttons which you can click on to expand or close the branch. When you do this, the diagram will automatically adjust to accommodate the change. The circle with a cross on it (right) represents a closed branch.


You can click-and-drag on boxes to add relatives if you wish.

Using automatic source citations you can ensure that correct source citations are added, even when you add relatives in this way.


All trees in Family Historian diagrams are Smart Trees. You can move or resize boxes and branches and the trees adjust automatically.

You have very extensive control over the appearance, content and layout of all charts.


Data Entry with the Property Box

The Property Box (viewed briefly in previous sections) is the main data entry window. It is shown here with the Source Pane displayed (yellow panel on right).


The Property Box is very configurable. Like other windows, you can adjust the text size to suit your needs, and resize or reposition this window as you wish. You can even ‘dock’ it to the side of the main window; and you can customize it.


This window allows you to choose which data items appear on the Main tab of the Property Box. You can even add your own custom tabs if you wish.



Family Historian comes with 31 standard reports, and you can create your own custom reports. All reports are highly configurable.

Reports can be saved in PDF format, as word-processor documents (in Rich Text Format – RTF), as web pages (HTML format) or as text files.


Reports include three different kinds of narrative reports, such as this Descendants by Generation report.


Create Books & Booklets

Create professional-looking family tree books and booklets, with a mix of auto-generated chapters and your own ‘free text’ pages and chapters. Add any reports, charts or diagrams to your books, as well as a title page, contents page, index page, and so on. Books can be saved in PDF format or in word-processor (Rich Text) format.


Create Websites & Family Tree CDs/DVDs

To create a website to display your Family tree, simply click on Create a Website on the Internet menu and a wizard will take you through a few simple steps, and then generate your website for you. Creating a great-looking family tree CD or DVD is just as easy.


An example website page. You can accept the default settings, or override them to configure the site as you wish.

Users can click on any picture or thumbnail image to see the full picture in a ‘popup’ window.


Explore Your Records

The Records Window allows you to search and explore your records. You can sort on any column, and configure columns to display whatever information you like.


Use Queries to Get the Most From Your Data

A query is a stored set of instructions for retrieving data, and for displaying it in a spreadsheet-like grid. For example, you might create a query to retrieve information abut all the male ancestors of your spouse who died of a heart attack or whose cause of death is not known. Family Historian comes with 40 queries when installed, but you can easily create your own.


The Plugin Store

Download free plugins from the Family Historian Plugin Store to add support for mapping (see example right), timelines, search/replace tools, and much more. Anyone can write plugins using the built-in scripting tools (see ‘Other Tools’ below) and submit them to the Plugin Store for all Family Historian users to share.

To access the Plugin Store from within the program, click on Plugins on the Tools menu, and then click the Plugin Store button.


Other Tools

Family Historian includes a number of other powerful tools, such as…

  • An Internet Search tool
  • A How Related tool to show how people are related, directly or indirectly (see image right). Click the ‘Display Graphically’ button to see exactly how the people are related on a diagram, or click ‘View Report’ to see the same information presented in a report.
  • A Merge/ Compare tool to manage merging data files into your projects
  • A tool to help you manage links to external files
  • A tool to help you manage and work with record identifiers.
  • A Backup-and-Restore facility
  • Powerful built-in scripting tools can be used to automate repetitive tasks, make extensive one-off changes to your data, or even to create your own new tools or new kinds of output. If you want, you can even use them to create plugins for submission to the Family Historian Plugin Store (see above).
  • A tool to help you split a family tree file into parts.
  • A facility to help you create and work with Named Lists of records (named lists are used for research purposes as To Do lists, as bookmark lists, as lists of key people, and so on
  • An import/export facility


Free Trial

Find out why Family Historian came top in the Which? Computing test of 9 Family History software packages. Download the free 30-day trial today.

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